Apart from the cost of the car itself, there’s a whole raft of expenses that young drivers have to contend with. Insurance gets more expensive all the time, fuel prices head ever upwards, and because most people start out with a relatively old vehicle, the cost of keeping it running can be prohibitive. A basic understanding of how a car works is an extremely good idea; that should go without saying. However, if you can learn how to do some basic routine maintenance jobs, you can save yourself a lot of money – even factoring in the cost of some of the courses below. If you’re the kind of person who has to take their car to a garage when one of the headlights blows, read on…
Hackney Community College, London
This course, Car Maintenance General, lasts 10 weeks and costs from as little as £100. You don’t need any qualifications to join; just a willingness to learn how to keep your vehicle on the road. The classes take place on Tuesday evenings between 6.30 and 7.30. Maximum class size is 20, and the next course starts in mid-September. The college has a modern garage facility and you’ll be able to work on your own car. Some benefit claimants will be eligible for a discount. Further courses take place in January and April.
Newcastle College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
This is a slightly more advanced course, consisting of 18 weeks of evening classes. It’s partly aimed at young people who are considering a career in motor mechanics, though anyone who simply wants to learn how to service their own vehicle is also welcome. There are no entry qualifications, though there is an interview process. If you successfully complete the course, however, you’ll earn an Entry Level 3 award from the Institute for the Motor Industry! There are both workshop and classroom learning sessions, and you’ll find out how to make sure your car is ready for an MOT amongst other things. Prices start at £195 and the next course begins in September.
Kent Adult Education, Maidstone
If you’re in the south-east and you want a quick and simple introduction to maintenance, this is an excellent choice. It’s just 3 hours long, takes place on a Saturday, and costs £30. You’ll learn about oil and water checks, tyre changing, bulb changing and what to do if you break down. It’s a course aimed at total beginners and makes a great introduction to the subject; you’ll save the £30 it costs the first time you change that headlight bulb!
Bournville College, Birmingham
Get To Know Your Car is aimed at all age groups, and again aims to help people save money on garage bills by teaching them how to change the oil and various filters, as well as how to do fluid checks and other safety-related jobs. You’ll also be able to change a wheel by the end. It’s a 6 week Thursday evening course, with each class taking 2.5 hours. While the course itself is free, classes are practical and workshop-based, so you’ll need to have steel-capped boots and your own overalls.
Information about UK car maintenance courses in other areas is available at HotCourses.com.